Summertime and the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze Charcoal
It’s official, folks.
Summertime has arrived. Based on that blazing hot spring that we had this year, right now the summer weather actually feels a little bit on the cool side, which is fine with me.
One of my favorite summertime activities is outdoor grilling. Actually, my grilling season normally lasts from February to November, but that’s just me. For many people the grilling season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the more “traditional” days of summer.
I’m a real picky person when it comes to grilling. I have my techniques, and often I get upset with myself when things don’t finish as desired. But that’s a different issue.
Recently, my girlfriend found an interesting charcoal briquette at a local dollar store. I think it was Dollar Tree, or one of those other stores. Anyway, she found the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal briquette and thought it would be something interesting for me to try. Normally I’m grilling with either propane or natural gas, but who out there doesn’t enjoy a nice charcoal BBQ?
Here we have the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal briquette. As you can see, it’s one giant charcoal briquette. The package claims that it’s easy to ignite, and once heated, it’ll give off something like 350 degrees of heat for 90 minutes.
And we have ignition! Once you figure out which side of the charcoal briquette to light, you’ll find that it quickly catches fire and begins heating.
We waited about eight or nine minutes to let the briquette fully heat. Our thermometer peaked at 392 degrees at the center of the brick, well above the advertised temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
We used bratwurst for this test grilling with the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal. The package recommends using at least two of the special briquettes when cooking a bunch of food or food that requires a larger concentration of higher heat. I figured that using one of the briquettes and frequent rotation would be fine for cooking six bratwurst sausages.
It turns out that I had to slightly modify my normal cooking strategy for the brats. The center of the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal briquette constantly blasted a tremendous amount of heat, causing for a bit of an uneven cooking area. If I used two of the briquettes, I could have spaced the briquettes at opposite ends of the grill and placed all of the sausages in the middle. But with this “middle heating” version, I had to constantly rotate the brats and move them around to try to cook all parts of the sausages evenly.
It took about 20-25 minutes to cook the bratwurst, which was about normal for my cooking strategy. The main difference here is that I had to be more careful with the intense heat to prevent charring the brats. My girlfriend and I don’t mind the outside being a little bit crispy, so it wasn’t a big deal for us. When cooking like this again for future sessions, I’ll remember to be more careful. As you can see in the picture, the middle of the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal is still burning nice and hot.
We took another temperature reading 30 minutes after igniting the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal briquette. The middle of the briquette was still maxing out our thermometer at 392 degrees, and the outside edge of the briquette was measuring at about 325 degrees.
We let the grill cool while enjoying dinner. 80 minutes after igniting the briquette, we took another temperature reading. This time the middle of the briquette was only 260 degrees while the outside edge had dropped to around 107 degrees Fahrenheit.
This isn’t quite the “350 degrees of temperature for 90 minutes” as advertised on the package. But when using the special briquette for a single session instead of cooking for hours at a time, the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal briquette works rather well. I can easily see people using a product like this when backpacking and camping, or when taking a small grill for tailgating and other adventures. The briquettes are individually packaged and easy to carry around without getting everything dirty from charcoal dust.
1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal briquette – TV commercial
The thing to keep in mind here is that the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze charcoal won’t give you a roaring hot fire, but it worked great for cooking simple food. I would imagine that it also works well for things like hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and pork chops. Steaks would be a different story. But for many grilling items, the 1-2-3 Miracle Blaze should work fine for those people looking for an easy (and cheap) way to do charcoal grilling.
Just remember to use multiple briquettes if you want something closer to an even heating area.